Getting on the Same Page

Today we say goodbye to this great work team that, from day one, took on this great challenge. There are still teachers who do what they do with great love. Without a doubt, you each have been, are, and will continue to be a very important part in the academic and intellectual development in the life of our beautiful son. You have poured out love, patience, tolerance, acceptance, humility, joy, and perseverance. These were three years full of challenges, but above all you gave love and patience. May God continue to be with you and reward you a hundredfold. We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are sure that our God is going before us and holds our hand. New challenges may come, but we are confident that your investment in Henry*, our beloved son, has laid a foundation in his heart.

The parents wrote each heartfelt word intentionally and with full appreciation. Henry has been in foster care for three years, and initially, it was a challenge for the young boy and his faithful caregivers. In the first month of his living with his foster parents, he started experiencing seizures. They immediately got Henry the medical attention he needed, and his health improved considerably, but his desire for learning and school work remained stagnant.

“He didn’t enjoy school or doing homework, sometimes going to great lengths to argue with teachers during the day and hiding in our home at night to avoid his tasks,” shared Henry’s foster mother.

Part of the necessary training for safe adults to become foster care parents is Trauma Competent Care training. The training helps adults dive deep into how trauma affects the brains of children, how to help them co-regulate and self-regulate, and these key components of parenting transformed how Henry interacted with his foster parents. “By implementing the resources we were given and holding Connection Group activities and conversations, we saw a drastic improvement in Henry,” the couple shared. Once this change occurred in their home, they saw the need for his teachers at school to learn the techniques and approaches to help improve his behavior in the classroom. When children from hard places are disciplined in traditional ways, it can often trigger more crises for the child.

At the end of June, Henry completed elementary school thanks to the dedication of his teachers and their desire to meet him right where he was throughout the school year. The teachers took part in the trauma training and implemented various tools and strategies in their classrooms. As he transitions to a new school with new teachers, he often shares how much he will miss his old school, because he connected with them in ways his parents could’ve only hoped for. To thank the team for their love and support of their child, Henry’s parents wrote a heartfelt letter to them, knowing Henry’s success was, in big part, a result of their involvement and faithfulness to teach him.

This is the power of safe adults being on the same page and constantly in pursuit of reminding vulnerable populations they can succeed – children are met exactly where they are and together, change happens.